An estimated 77,000 people who live in federally assisted housing across the
United States are at risk of being poisoned by dangerous toxic contamination and the federal
government has been aware of this hazard for years but taken no action, according to a new
report released today by the Shriver Center on Poverty Law, Earthjustice, and faculty at the
University of Chicago’s Abrams Environmental Law Clinic and Columbia University’s Health
Justice Advocacy Clinic.
The report finds that decades of environmental racism have systematically put residents of
federally assisted housing in direct proximity to these toxins. Many of these residents are Black
and Brown and their housing was placed in harm’s way due to the historic discriminatory
housing policies of the federal government. Despite the risks, the federal government is still
moving people into housing that is potentially hazardous, without notification to the residents,
and continues to invest redevelopment dollars into these sites.